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May 01, 2008

Can't Decide Where To Put Your Keyword? GUIDE TO KEYWORD PLACEMENT

Can't Decide Where To Put Your Keyword?

I have found my Keywords & Phrases - in order to generate traffic, where do I insert these? Are they to go inside the “Keywords” tag or simply in the copy text?

Keyword Placement: Where To Use Your Keyword Phrases

Once you choose keywords that are related to your website, there are a variety of ways that you can use your keyword list strategically to generate traffic. The actual placement of your keyword phrases on your web pages is important, as is use of keyword phrases off your web pages, so I will cover both in this tutorial…

* On-Page Optimization

Each page of your website should be optimized for keyword phrases that are specific to that page. Keep in mind that the search engines rank pages, not sites, so you want to optimize each page of your website to rank well for a specific keyword phrase. If you have a pet site, for example, you may have pages optimized for: dog training, cat grooming and parrot tricks.

It is best to choose very specific keyword phrases, and to have 2-3 phrases per page. You will often hear the term Primary Keyword Phrase - this is the keyword phrase you most want that page to rank well for in the major search engines. Secondary Keyword Phrases are 1-2 additional phrases you would like that page to rank for as well.

The most important thing is that your web pages are well readed to your visitors, so keep this in mind during keyword placement. If it doesnt make sense, or reads strange, getting a lot of traffic to the page won't give you the results you are looking for - its the actual readers that take action (subscribe, click ads, make purchases) so you must optimize for the visitors as well as the search engines.

Your Primary Keyword Phrase should be used in these places:

- File Name (ex: filename.html or file-name.htm)
- Title Bar, or the Title Tag of the web page
- Text Header, or the heading at the top of your page (h1 tag)
- Sub Headings (usually using h2 or h3 tags)
- Within the actual content on the page
- As the Anchor Text in reference links or outbound links

To give you an example, this web page currently ranks #4 for the term think and grow rich. Outside of the file name, this page contains all of the placements outlined above. (No one “on the page” element is going to “make or break” your rankings)

As for the “keyword meta tag” in the actual HTML code of your page, this is not necessary. You can place your keyword phrases here for good measure, but only your primary and secondary keyword phrases (no “stuffing” - it looks spammy). That said, you DO want to use the Description meta tag to write a descriptive sentence or two about the web page, as this will show up in the search results.

* Off-Page Optimization

Your off-the-page optimization will actually carry more weight in Google than your on-the-page optimization. While the content must be relevant and the page elements need to be in good order, what your links say about your page is much more important than what your page itself says.

To put that in perspective, lets say that you have a web page that you tell Google is all about “yellow”. However, 10 different authority sites say that your web page is about “blue”. Which do you think Google will believe? Similar to the way society views people, Google views web pages by the company they keep and their general associations.

This means that you want to pay special attention to who you link out to, and who links to you. While you cant fully control who links to your pages, you can seek out high quality inbound links that will give your page a “good reputation” and specific association with your topic.

It is better to have one link to your pet page from a pet-related page on another pet site, than to have 10 links to your pet page on general link pages on general sites. Make sense?

With that in mind, you want to use your keyword phrases to search out related sites. These established sites that rank in the top 20 for various related keywords are your best link partners, as they are most relevant.

In addition, and most importantly, you want to use your keyword phrases as the Anchor Text or Link Text for any links that point to your web pages. You will want to use some variation, so this is where your Secondary Keyword Phrases will come in handy again.

Using my Think & Grow Rich page as an example again, that page ranks in the top 5 results on Google for all three of these phrases:

- Think and Grow Rich
- Download Think and Grow Rich
- Think and Grow Rich Audio

Not only does that appear natural to Google (not everyone will link the same, except a spammer), but it gives you a wider reach in the search engines. You can now funnel traffic from a variety of keyword phrases that your target market may use.

Anchor Text (or Link Text) is simply the text that you link a URL to. The Anchor Text defines the web page you are linking to, and associates that page with a specific word or phrase. So when I link to my T&GR page like this: “Think and Grow Rich Audio“, it tells the search engines that the page is about Think and Grow Rich Audio.

Your goal is to get links pointing to each of your web pages (not just your home page!) from relevant web pages on related sites, that contain relevant keyword phrases as the anchor text.

In addition, you want to optimize your Internal Links. These are links within your own site that link to pages of your site. They might be Navigation Links, or links within content areas. While these are not as relevant as links from other websites, they do still count and should be optimized properly.

Not only does that tell the search engines what your web page is about, but it is very helpful for your actual readers as well. “Download Think and Grow Rich” is much more obvious to someone scanning the page than “Click Here”.

If you have any questions about Keyword Placement, or additional tips on where to use keywords, feel free to leave a comment below!

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